Varajas hurt. Everywhere the spider venom had touched, it had left an ache that Varajas didn’t know how to banish. Brighter, more intense, the bite at his neck and the cut in his arm. He was tired. Too hot and too cold all at once. Still dizzy with the question of where they were and how they had gotten here.

He needed to move past all of that, because he could see this situation was about to go very, very wrong.

“Yes,” he said. “I was a knight. Am a knight, I suppose, even if the order is pretty much past tense at this point.”

Samir’s expression was unreadable. Whatever he was thinking, it didn’t show on his face.

Ruan was all too easy to read, with murder in his eyes. That pure, burning anger, because everything Ruan had ever felt was both pure and burning. It was one of the things Varajas had loved about him.

Maybe still loved about him, because Varajas’s world needed to be just that much more fucked up.

Ruan looked like he was about to attack Varajas. Except…had that already happened?

A flash of…Ruan’s voice. I hate you. And then…

Ruan’s brow pulled tight, and he visibly flinched back. What was he remembering?

This place. This…everything. What was going on here?

Varajas struggled to get his feet under him. Samir pulled back, giving him space. Ruan had hands on his swords, but he hadn’t drawn them yet. And even if he did…

I hate you!

Varajas pressed his forehead into the heels of his hands, trying to get his mind to settle.

A note from Barbara J Webb

I have a discord! Come hang out with me and other fans! In addition, when you join, you’ll get a free copy of the ebook for Twisted Magic, the first book in my Knights of the Twisted Tree series!

I have a Patreon! Read scenes ahead of when they’re posted to the public! Gain access to bonus scenes! And most of all, you’re helping support me so I can keep writing the books I love.

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About the author

Barbara J Webb


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